Orienteering D.I.Y…print the map and go!

Would you like to go for a walk in the woods but your children are not enthusiastic about it? And how about a family activity that won’t cost you a penny (or a dime)? Orienteering is the answer, just download and print the map at home, and you are ready to go.

One mild Sunday morning (neither too cold nor too warm), I printed out a topographic map of the orienteering course from the website of the Arena Sportiva di Tesserete (Capriasca); I chose the E course (the one most suitable to families). Courses are permanent and can be “run” all year round, at every time of the day.

I packed a compass (which we did not use, but it gave us the impression that we were taking our first orienteering race “seriously”) and easily persuaded my husband and children to join me.

Orienteering in Tesserete, course E

We drove to Tesserete, about 10 minutes from Lugano, where we parked our car is a large and free parking lot. The first control point is not far from the parking lot. The control points are 14 in total and they are to be found in the area encompassing the sports center, the wood and the charming village of Lugaggia. Control points are not always easy to find, some are well hidden, so you need excellent navigational skills using a map. You need to be able to read contour lines and understand where streams are located, as well getting “familiar” with unfamiliar terrain, etc. We could not have done it without dad (as I was too busy taking pictures!)

As usual, we got lost, precisely in the village of Lugaggia… and of course, we walked for a longer time than it was required. Still, we had a lot of fun and managed to find all the 14 control points AND had them all punched (with the specific needle puncher). Each time we found a control point the kids were elated and screamed as if they had found a pot of gold. To sum it up: once again I succeeded in combining a healthy walk with some fun, so I was happy, too!

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